Sunday, 25 January 2015

Caramel Koala Macarons

Happy Australia Day 2015!
To celebrate my national day, even though I don't live there anymore, I have done some Aussie baking. I made some lamingtons (which I will post on here soon) and these little koala macarons. I can't claim to have invented these - they come from one of my favourite Sydney bloggers, Steph at Raspberri Cupcakes. Click the link to see her original ones. I use a slightly different macaron recipe, but by all means try hers out - I used to use it, but found it didn't suit my oven as much as my current one does. This is the second time I have made these - the first time was right at the beginning of my macaron journey and compared to these they looks pretty rough. But the word 'journey' is apt here, as it truly has been a journey to 'perfect' them.

Steph, in her original made the caramel filling, but I always cheat and use the Carnation Condensed Milk ready made Caramel. I simply love it. And combined with the chocolate ganache, it's absolutely delicious, giving a little 'surprise inside' experience.

Piped out and ready to 'rest'.

This is not a great photo, but you get the idea of the template I use. I'm not professional enough to get them all consistent without something like this.

Caramel Koala Macarons (or Caramello Koala Macarons)

If you are new to macarons, Brave Tart has a lot of good advice on how to make them. I did a lot of reading before I started, and I have made a lot of batches to perfect them. I also did a short course one day to be taught in a practical way. But reading lots of blogs, really does help.

Makes about 20  whole

100 grams ground almonds (I actually use about 110g to then allow for large bits that can't be sieved)
100-110g egg whites (about 3 egg whites)
185g icing (powdered) sugar
4 tablespoons caster sugar
black food colouring
  1. Preheat the oven to 140° C.
  2. Push the ground almond through a sieve to get rid of any large pieces or lumps.
  3. Mix the icing sugar together with the ground almonds in a food processor. I do this twice - sieve, food processor, sieve, food processor.
  4. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites with a hand- or stand mixer. As the egg whites start foaming, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue whipping until the mixture is glossy and stiff - this takes about 9 mins. Add any colour at this stage and mix for a further minute. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the meringue sliding out.
  5. Fold the dry mix carefully and slowly into the meringue, use a spatula. You need to ensure the wet and dry ingredients are well incorporated at this stage, and that most of the air has been squashed out. Don't overmix! You want the mixture to fall off the spatula like lava. At this stage I took a couple of spoonfuls out, added a lot of extra black colouring to make the nose and put that into its own piping bag with a very narrow nozzle.
  6. Fill your main piping bag plus a smaller one, narrow nozzle (for the ears) and pipe the macarons onto a baking sheet. I use a template I made up as a guideline under the baking paper - it has the circle for the head and smaller round ears. See photo above.
  7. Tap the tray firmly but carefully a couple of times on a solid surface to let any air bubbles escape. Add the nose to each koala then carefully add the ear decoration. I could only find stars, so I used those.
  8. Let them set for 60 minutes to form a dry skin.
  9. Bake for about 14-16 minutes. Let cool completely, then fill with piped chocolate ganache and caramel and sandwich them together.
  10.  Remember to put your filled macarons into the fridge in a sealed container for 24 hours; this process helps the flavours to develop. Macarons are best eaten after being out of the fridge for about an hour.
  1. Finely chop the chocolate.
  2. Heat the double cream in a small saucepan on a low to medium heat until it begins to bubble and steam. You want it to be hot enough to melt the chocolate easily.
  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, stir slightly and allow to sit for a few minutes.
  4. Whisk the chocolate and cream mixture until it becomes smooth and silky. If there are still lumps of chocolate you can place the bowl over a saucepan is simmering water to reheat and melt further.
  5. Pour the melted mixture into a flat pan and place in the fridge to chill. Cover with cling film to avoid a skin forming. It is ready to pipe into the macarons when it has set. If it is too hard, leave on your bench for a few minutes, but remember, just by piping it, it will warm up in your hands anyway.
Out of the oven, cooled and decorated. I use a black edible pen to draw the facial features. Ready to fill.
I use this caramel, but if you don't have access to it in this form, you can make your own dulce de leche ( recipe here again from Raspberri Cupcakes). My grandma used to make it this way....ooohhhh the memories...)

I pipe a ring of the chocolate ganache first, as the caramel is too runny to hold in on its own.

All snuggled up together

Cute little fellas, aren't they?

No comments:

Post a Comment

I always read your comments, so please feel free to leave one!